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Human Sexuality: Across the Lifespan

Author: Jessie Timmons, LCSW
(Click author's name for bio)

Course Created: 2022

Practice Level: Intermediate

No book to buy Duration: 3 hours
4.6 out of 5.0, Based on: 2,425 reviews

Course Summary

Series Overview: This course is part of a 4-course series on Human Sexuality

As a central aspect of human identity, experience, and wellbeing, clinicians should understand sexuality as a part of holistic work across mental health disciplines. This series provides information about language, terms and definitions, and various human experiences that clinicians will encounter when working with clients in general and specifically related to sexual health. Clinicians can use the case examples presented throughout the learning material to reflect upon how their sexual identity, beliefs, and experiences may affect engagement with specific clients and inform their conceptualizations about areas of concern for clients. The courses in this human sexuality series are: 
• Human Sexuality Across the Lifespan 
• Fertility and Sexual Health Interviews 
• Sexuality in Context and Sexually Transmitted Infections  
• Sexual Disorders and Sex Therapy  

For professionals seeking California licensure: Taken together, the four courses in this series meet the requirement for 10 hours of human sexuality training. 

The concept of human sexuality has developed throughout the history of human experience, especially in terms of the scientific and cultural understanding of sexual development across the lifespan. This learning material presents human sexual development throughout the lifespan, including childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The clinician’s understanding of sexual development from childhood through the phases of adulthood is critical for assessment and intervention planning that considers or targets sexuality. 

This learning material provides a review of physical markers of sexual development, as well as accompanying emotional and behavioral development. It explores the connection between attachment and sexual development, which offers clinicians additional insights for use in clinical assessment and intervention. This course explains gender identity and sexual orientation, two related but separate concepts, and presents language and varieties of experience that a clinician might encounter across these domains. Mental health providers can apply these concepts to real-world intervention with clients through the case examples presented throughout the course.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF) and a practice test. When you're ready, purchase the course by clicking the "Add To Cart" button. This will let you take the test, complete the course evaluation and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe development of sexuality during childhood and adolescence.
  • Describe physiological and psychological development during the period of puberty.
  • Identify how culture, gender, and sexual orientation affect sexual development.
  • Explain how sexual activity changes in young, middle, and later adulthood.
  • Identify elements of adult sexuality, including the role of relationship contexts.

Course Syllabus



            Definition of Terminology

            Sexual Development – Birth Through the Onset of Puberty

            Sexual Development in Puberty

            Culture and Sexual Development

            Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation


            Sexuality in Early Adulthood

            Sexuality in Middle Adulthood

            Sexuality in Later Adulthood


            Monogamous Adult Relationships

            Consensual Non-Monogamy

SUMMARY, provider #1115, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 07/08/21-07/08/24. Social workers completing this course receive 3 clinical continuing education credits.

We are committed to providing our learners with unbiased information. Ce4Less never accepts commercial support and our authors have no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to the material.


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